A Third West Oakland Home Breaks the Million Dollar MarkMay 31, 2016
The newly built 2,245-square-foot West Oakland (“WeOak”) infill home at 862 Wood Street, which was listed for $824,500 last month, closed escrow today with a reported contract price of $1,025,000 or roughly $457 per square foot.
It’s the third most expensive single-family home sale on record in West Oakland, right behind the 2,200-square-foot home at 730 34th Street, which was also designed by Baran Studio Architecture and sold for $1,030,000 ($468 per square foot) eight months ago.
The renovated 2,400-square-foot home at 343 Chester Street fetched $1,045,000 ($446 per square foot) last September as well.
Comments from Plugged-In Readers
“WeOak”? Does anyone outside of the real estate profession use that term?
And this is one of those incredibly annoying things about the real estate industry
…and this is one of those incredibly annoying things about White Privilege and and the undying need to colonize historically People of Color and Black neighborhood
Why not ask the Italian Americans who got pushed out of this neighborhood by the influx of African Americans from the south? Would you call that “colonizing” a hisorically Italian neighborhood? Nothing stays the same nor should it.
I love it! Why not? We have SoMa, WeHo, Nobe, etc…
Because this is our oldest neighborhood and we are not friggin Frisco. West Oakland in the old de facto segregated days was not only the home to the black community but the chicano community along 5th and 6th streets. Embrace the term, you should be honored to be a part of a heritage that includes a park named after a mixed couple, DeFermery at time that miscegenation was not legal in this state. Welcome to Oakland and welcome to West Oakland!
We do not have Nobe. We have Longfellow, Santa Fe, Golden Gate, Gaskill, Bushrod, etc. And if you are lazy enough to say Nobe, it’s just North Oakland.
THAT IS EXACTLY WHY! WE ALREADY HAVE THE OTHER PLACES. WHY TAKE ALL OF THE OLD HISTORY AND BEAUTIFUL BUILDING AND TURN THEM ALL INTO FUTURISTIC TECHIES SQUARE BOXES? F*CK THAT!
as has been pointed out numerous times, this house was built on an empty lot…
Is that why the building is so ugly? Or is that just an accumulation of bad design choices and poor taste?
All neighborhoods that had established names before the colonizers, I mean Whites moved in and re-named them.
while i agree with you that WeOak is stupid…you do realize that this neighborhood was named by white dudes when it was a primarily italian/slavic/german neighborhood, yeah?
Yes, it’s a hashtag that’s been used on instagram and the like for a while. I’m 100% sure the users of the hashtag had no intention of changing the area’s name, just needed fewer characters and thought it sounded cute. Welcome all to the Age of Social Media Rage.
Anyone who uses “WeOak” is first against the wall. If you need something shorter than “West Oakland,” at lease use the BART station’s abbreviation “WOAK”.
WeOak? Seriously? How deep must your white privilege go to so blatantly attempt to whitewash West Oakland? That is just downright racist.
Your comment is downright prejudice.
This isn’t “annoying” it’s DANGEROUS! Do you know what the impact is on me and people that I know for whitewashing the neighborhood? They aren’t all great like we are being sold. They are driving the cost for shelter up so high and feeding into the greed of city officials who just want the city to make more money. This doesn’t mean more money for people who haven’t had access beyond what the Oakland school system was before you got here. Even affordable housing minimal income requirements are too high!
Section 8 has a waitlist that spans years and the list only opens every couple of years. None of these people actually find value in people that don’t make the new median income. This impacts non profits and the thousands of people they serve.
It’s not predjudice to point out that the majority of people of color in Oakland will be pushed out because they lived here because they were poor. The majority of the people of Oakland were not as wealthy as the new people coming here. So everything is becoming even less accessible to us and we are the art and culture that makes Oakland, Oakland.
The slap in the face is that studies show that most of the people moving into Oakland move out shortly afterwards, since their mere presence drives businesses and property owners to raise prices and change offerings; they move seeking out a more affordable life. It’s racism and greed. It’s always been greed. Greed always comes first. Before people. That is dangerous. You should be outraged!
We are completely outraged and terrified about where we will actually go. Unlike them, most of us don’t have the resources to just pick up and go somewhere! A lot of us are caring for family members who can’t afford the luxury specialized elder care- they didn’t retire with 401k’s, IRAS, or have whole life insurance plans. Smh…
Know who the actual community is and what makes it before you go haphazardly ripping the foundations from under them. I hate this. I hate this new Oakland that isn’t for us anymore. We can’t survive here…
Your prior tenancy does not guarantee future residency.
Well said by someone who obviously doesn’t give a rats ass for anyone who might be displaced from what the more affluent might deem a waste of space and has no intention of giving one anytime soon. A callous statement for folks genuinely concerned about their futures.
Correct. As a landlord I have to keep my houses rented and collect the rent. Then I pay property taxes, mortgages, maintenance, vacancy and everything else. Although I have positive cashflow, if all my tenants left at once, I’d be in trouble pretty quickly. So I have zero empathy for or interest in my tenants except to the extent that they pay the rent on time and don’t destroy my property. The same way that the bank or the county has no interest in or empathy for me except to the extent that I pay them in full and on time. That’s the circle of life. Deal with it.
I moved to west oakland because I could not afford to live in san francisco anymore (my rent was increased by over 50%). am I a greedy, terrible person for moving? or am I just a person, like you, trying to find a place to live?
if you want to fight for something, you should be fighting for radically more housing to be built everywhere, for all income levels. that is the ONLY way that you will stop displacement. otherwise, the tide of more affluent people moving to west oakland from SF will never stop, and you are right, west oakland will change.
You’re only bad if you want to move in and get rid of Herman who been on the block for 40 years because he doesn’t fit your idea of the perfect neighbor. Instead of pushing the folks out getting to know them and learning that it’s more than just a cheap place to live but a lot of history for families being pushed out by folks who can’t afford to live in San Francisco…
Bre, your script is showing. Who said WeOak is “annoying”? You want to chat -great! However your post is all about you and there’s enough people saying me, me, me in this world that I really don’t care to hear it.
Why does it bother you so much? It’s a cool name and none of your business.
the neighborhood already has a name, two in fact. its either prescott or the lower bottoms. while i enjoy fact this sale increases the value of my own home, aesthetically its ugly as sh*t.
Prescott is a new-ish name for the area. First, there was a school – Prescott Elementary School, named after William H. Prescott at a time when many schools were being named after white male writers. Then, Boy Scouts started referring to the neighborhood as Prescott (natural as they went to school at that elementary) in late 30s and 40s, but there was no official reference to that neighborhood name until 1957 (from district community council notes).
Lower Bottoms has been a colloquial name for the area, but it has a lot of negative connotations and has never been used in the official manner.
Oakland Point is probably the most historic name, dating back to maps from 1857 (referencing the area by the ports, which looked like a parrot’s beak). The area by the ports was also called Oakland Point and there are many references to that name throughout the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
Thus, it’s clear that if you are trying to go with the most historic name, Oakland Point is it. But who says that’s the best way to name an area? While the area has a lot of history, none of the names have much significance any more, so why don’t we look to the future and use WeOak? It’s a name as good as any and it’s fun and easy to pronounce.
If you can’t see the racism in attempting to whitewash a longstanding, historically African-American section of Oakland by labeling West Oakland as “WeOak” than either your white privilege is so fierce as to make your blind. Or you are just emblematic of the racist pro-gentrification bias of the majority of the Socketsite commentariat. I am sure this comment will get deleted by the Socketsite editors for calling a spade a spade, but it is what it is.
Its West Oakland, the Harlem of the West Coast. This gentrification bomb of a house is a mere 10 minute walk from the spot where Huey P. Newton was killed.
Please explain to us how “WeOak” whitewashes the neighborhood.
HousingWonk: no one was displaced by this house. it was an empty lot before. are you suggesting that the lot remain empty, and that that would be better for the neighborhood?
are neighborhoods never supposed to change? should west oakland remain static, with no nice houses allowed to be built or non-african americans allowed to move in? what about the fact that this neighborhood was once mostly working class irish and italians, who worked at the port, prior to becoming an african american neighborhood?
we should have certain protections in place to prevent predatory landlords and unlawful evictions. and we do have those protections in oakland. but we should not stand in the way of a city or a neighborhood changing…because that is what it means to be a city or a neighborhood! west oakland will continue to attract newer, affluent residents who want to live in newer, more affluent houses. there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, unless you are pro-status quo and pro-segregation above all else.
Your assertion is a microaggression.
Indeed! Erasure is an earmark of colonizers and gentrifiers
God what an ugly facade. If I was forced at gunpoint to own that place the first thing I’d do is call Bob Buckter to have him do a color scheme to ameliorate the dastardliness of that lack of design. At least good taste lives next door on one side.
Front looks like a 1st year architecture school project. Ungainly. Graceless. Out of proportion. Clumsy. Like a zitty teen boy in a cheap rental tux for prom. But prom is just one night, that facade is for decades..
Decades? I give this facade maybe 2 hours before it gets tagged.
It looks like a pretty sweet house to me. I like the open layout, and there is so much light! I especially like how they preserved the tree. There is more to good design than reproducing Victorians.
The inside is nice enough, if a little spare and cold with the white paint and trim-less windows. Looks institutional. My beef is with the outside front specifically. The yellow door? What is the message there other than “look at me! I’m bright yellow!”
Hey what do you get when you get too much light on too many white walls, and you have not enough interior walls to escape the sun? You get detached retinas. Enjoy your “good design”…
Holla at your boy, Doctor Color!!!
Doctor Color owns thousands of acres in Costa Rica.
Doctor Color suggests colors paint companies don’t make any more!
What should have colors? Doctor Color says EVERYTHING!!!!
Hear-the-drum-I-get-wikkid… I think.
Buyers, the basis for the existence of a real estate industry, paid more for the place the comment section is panning than the vintage restoration job next door. BTW, I often call West Oakland a lot worse things than “WeOak”
West Oakland – is that all of the communities west of 980? Lumping everyone together could be labeled as a form of discrimination as well. Every nook and cranny in SF gets a pet name, but Oakland only gets East and West, maybe Uptown on a good day. How about historical neighborhoods such as Prescott or Lower Bottoms? Try learning some history before spouting off.
oh come on. Yes there are certainly named sub-neighborhoods in West Oakland, but the entire area between 980, 880, and 580 is commonly referred to as West Oakland by the people who live there, and most certainly in terms of local politics.
West Oakland is too big to be usefully labeled with one name. The first question everyone asks when I say I live in West Oakland is to ask me to clarify where. I will attempt to popularize the neighborhood names from now on. This house is in Prescott not “WeOak.”
I think Lower Bottoms is more appropriate. It gives a better sense of the history of the area, and the circumstances that led up to million dollar new construction in a neighborhood that’s the real estate equivalent of a time capsule.
I thought Lower Bottoms was south of 7th st? Do you have a map of the neighborhoods? The one I posted isn’t that good.
I believe Lower Bottoms refers to everything that got cut off from the rest of Oakland by the Cypress Freeway (now Mandela Ave). Basically, politicians purposefully constructed the freeway there to reify the “wrong side of the tracks”, which created the neighborhood by basically casting it out from the rest of the town.
West Oakland has a ton of existing micro neighborhoods:
Acorn Industrial, Acorn Projects, Campbell Village Court, Cypress Village, Clawson, Desert Yard, Dogtown, Ghostown, Hoover/Foster, Lower Bottoms, McClymonds, Oak Center, Oakland Point, Prescott, South Prescott, Ralph Bunche.
The naming convention real estate agents used to market gentrifying lower Manhattan has got to go. At this point it’s so hackneyed it’s sad, and it’s become synonymous with a kind of cultural genocide.
thank you, who the hell are these folks. I have lived here 72 yrs, grew up in Hoover/Durant (later Hoover/Foster, hipsters call it the dope dealer name Ghostown so they can have street cred).
The old bottoms and chicano area were destroyed when the PO was built and the freeway came thorough. That was Willow Manor and Thompkins named after the schools down below 7th st. I have now lived in the Mosswood Annex, that area between 37 and 40th above Telegraph. Real Estate agents are trying to make it Lower Temescal..Come folks embrace this towns wonderful history. If you live by McClymonds you are next to a high school that has sent more kids to the NBA then any in the area.
Welcome to the town embrace the history and enrich it instead of trying to make us “New Brooklyn” we already had a Brooklyn…or Frisco. You are living by the old Black Panther Party headqtrs, be Oaktown proud.
Earl: I’ve followed your comments elsewhere and it occurs to me you’d be a good person to ask: what was Longfellow called before Longfellow School (now OMI) opened and before the freeways split the whole place up? Some people have told me it was always considered part of West Oakland (until 580 separated them?); others that it was part of a larger Temescal (before 24 did the same).
Also – didn’t know Mosswood was being rebranded; as a Longfellow victim of “NOBE” you have my sympathies. Reminds me of when Shafter was billed as “Lower Rockridge”, which seems to have died a deserved death.
Thanks for the history lesson! I lived in North Oakland as a baby & grew up in many areas of East Oakland. No matter what they try to rename the area, it will always be West Oakland to me.
According to Zillow 1746 8th St. (corner of Wood St.), a 4 bed 2 bath 2,260 sq. ft. beautiful but largely unrestored Victorian sold for $1,500,000 02/08/16. The house has a large finished barn in the back and corner addition, so it looks to be much larger that 2,260 but is still a single family home.
The sale also included the attached commercial space at 1748 8th Street with two second floor offices; it wasn’t simply a single-family home.
It is still principally a residential house – the “commercial” space is defunct, maybe useful as a very small office, and the two second floor “offices” hardly qualify as commercial. They will at most be useful as private professional spaces for the new owner.
No, it’s not. The commercial space you’re downplaying is a separate building, with a separate address, a separate entrance and 1,400 square feet of space which once housed the Hayes Fish and Poultry Market (and has since been renovated a bit).
I agree with you, but the owner is actually using it exactly as that user described. I was hoping for a cafe or a market, but they bought the place to use as a private art studio.
That’s too bad, I walk by this place every day on my way to work and I was really hoping for a market or some other local business to open up there.
Good god. At least SFPD shows up when you inevitably have to call them in Bayview.
I feel kinda bad that you don’t like Bayview and yet are stuck there.
Mind blown. By the price, not the house.
West Oakland today is not far off from where the Mission was circa 1995. I suspect this purchase will be considered a steal in 10 years.
Yes in 10 years, but based on your analogy, you also might be able to buy it for around $300k in two years.
Yeah, the typical benefit of buying in a (politely described) “not yet gentrified” area is that you don’t have to pay much. Paying over a million bucks sort of defeats the purpose. I certainly hope West Oakland improves. But the Mission in 1995 had a thriving restaurant/bar/theater scene. It just had a lot of crime to go along with it (kind of still does, but less). West Oakland has farther to go than the Mission 1995, but there is a lot of money in the Bay Area, so I hope this neighborhood rises with the tide.
Oakland has many wonderful neighborhoods where you can find a beautiful home for $1m.
I agree (in fact, so does San Francisco). That’s why I’m a little surprised that someone paid that amount to live in this neighborhood.
west oakland (at least this neighborhood/prescott) will never be like the mission. it is a residential neighborhood of SFHs, some condos (PCL), and some new town homes. it does not have the density or streetscape to ever have bars/restaurants. but it can become safer, quieter, nicer, and richer, and become a very desirable bedroom community for SF and uptown oakland. in 10, 20 years this area could become like some of the nicer residential areas of berkeley.
Have you people no shame? Because you have access to disposable capital you think that allows you shatter neighborhoods up like so much colonial conquest? This is disgusting. As a former capital-less resident of West Oakland, actually Dogtown, listening to you fools makes me sick. And please, park the “whining loser” comeback.
Columbus to WWII, colonialism was done through the barrel of a gun. Now it’s done by white shoes wagging financial warfare with numbers in a database. Do you imbeciles actually believe that prices and profits can rise infinitely while the bottom 90%’s income and jobs decreases infinitely? And does the 1% have the right to believe that because they have sucked up everything, in conquest, it allows them to behave in anyway they please? No respect of impact of neighborhoods and the lives of the residents who make it community?
You fools now own government lock, stock and barrel and your avarice is going to be coming back at’cha with 360 degree vengeance. And all your doing. I can’t wait to sit back and watch you suckers jumpin’ outta windows again. Goodbye!
how does this shatter the neighborhood?
360 degrees back at ya.
This is a new building on an empty lot. It displaced no one. Turning empty lots into homes is exactly the sort of development Oakland needs.
Yes it is, but when you are turning those empty lots into housing that you know the people in the neighborhood could never afford it is not development that Oakland needs. This “New” Oakland that you are developing is moving people into once predominately Black and Hispanic neighborhoods and moving the people out.
These modernize homes are taking away from what was once beautiful in the neighborhoods, why don’t we use some of that money to help restore the beautiful Victorians that have a lot of Oakland’s history in and around them. Yes, more than you know it these empty lot million dollar homes are displacing lots of families who were generational…I saw it with the Acorn project, move minorities out and whites who can no longer afford the suburban life in to where land and houses are cheaper. Build differently to change the look and attitude of the neighborhood. We already can’t enjoy Lake Merritt anymore because of the new population in that area…
What Oakland needs is for these developers to study the rich culture that has come out of Oakland and see how they can preserve that…
I agree it is a problem, but wishing the problem doesn’t exist doesn’t fix the problem.
The person who bought this house doesn’t disappear if it wasn’t built, instead they purchase another house on the block. The best tool we have to prevent displacement is to make sure the potential displacers are displacing empty lots and not people.
We also need to pair this with more affordable housing of course, and as property taxes and development fees come in there are more funds to do just that.
so west oakland MUST remain predominately black and poor forever? so long as the bay area faces a housing shortage, and prices continue rise, displacement will occur. it is simple as that. there is no way to stop this without building more supply. cities change as they respond to underlying economic dynamics. incidentally, those same dynamics are what caused african americans to displace irish/italian port workers in the late 19th century…
wishing that the developer use “some of that money” (???) to restore random homes in the neighborhood is futile. no one is going to pay for that. people will only pay for and invest in projects that are economically viable.
finally, the fact that you are unable to “enjoy” lake merrit because of the “new population” makes you even more racist and bigoted than the people you claim are moving into and destroying west oakland. how would you feel if the owner of this new house came out and said that he can’t enjoy living in prescott because of the existing population/race/ethnicity/characteristics of his new neighbors?
MKP, if you aren’t following the news, there’s been MANY instances around lake merrit of new/affluent white people calling the police on any random black or brown person who they happen to see, for no reason at all (or, sorry, for daring to make a single peep in their own neighborhoods). You sound ignorant.
What is it about new residents as people, that you object to?
Have you organized the sellers of homes in the neighborhood to stop accepting money from new buyers?
I object to them moving in and wanting to change/fix the way things are. This is happening in my moms neighborhood. Now they want to tell you what color to paint your house, where to park your car, what to plant in your yard. It’s like when new people come into your office and try to change the way things are. If it’s not broke quit trying to come in and change it.
Angie, I’m pretty sure the new residents just wanted your mom to paint her house period, to not park on the sidewalk and to just take care of her yard like she’s proud to be living there. If that’s what the new residents want, then some aspects of your mom’s neighborhood are broken.
Can you give us an example of when a resident of West Oakland was “forced” by a newcomer to change the paint color of her house, or what sort of plants were in her yard?
I don’t believe that what you describe is actually happening.
Now, all Angie stated was that she objects to people “wanting” to change/fix the way things are. And that “they want” to tell you what color to paint your house, where to park your car, what to plant in your yard. She did not say that anyone has ever, in fact, done any of these things.
Speech and debate club championship points for you, counselor. That’s why I asked if any of these things had actually happened. Is Angie intuiting the ‘want’ in the faces of her mother’s new neighbors?
It is possible to ignore people who ‘want’ you paint your house a given color.
Lots of Monday morning quarterbacking.
As a side note, a coast live oak is a “protected tree” in the Oakland tree preservation ordinance.
Good old Chip Johnson; I hear he’s leaving the Chronicle….how will Oakland ever survive w/o his coverage of crucial stories like this ( instead of those boring ones about un-funded pensions, general fiscal imbalances and looming bankruptcy) ??
The Danville – West Oakland quarterback transfer story is amazing. I’m still trying to decide if I love it or if I hate it. Pretty embarrassed that the parents would choose to send the kid to an academically under-performing school for the sake of football.
On the other hand, if he puts together two 3,000 yard seasons, probably greatly-improves his class-rank academic performance, and comes away with the “I was the white kid at the all black high school” college essay, he may have secured a QB role at pretty much any Ivy football program. Stupid like a fox….
the article is a couple years old. the kid is now the QB for princeton.
Thank you! Apparently I called it.
I saw the UC Davis verbal commit but missed the ultimate “signing” with Princeton in Feb. 2016. A record setting twenty eight football national championships, no less*, for Princeton.
*Note: last title in 1950.
Hmmmm, this does have me rethinking Plan B for college entrance for the kids.
Because it says that whatever Oakland was before doesn’t matter. The neighborhoods that have been named by the people that made up Oakland doesn’t matter. The new money matters. That’s it, that’s all…
I will say Bravo to the brave developer who took on this project in a deeply troubled neighborhood and turned a handsome profit in the process! I personally only buy the highest quality (west of El Camino) Peninsula real estate as I firmly believe in the truism “location, location, location” but I am always a little bit envious when I see someone go out on a limb like this and really rake it in. Congratulations to the seller on a spectacular result.
Step out your door and in less than 25 minutes you’re in downtown Ess Eff. Location.
Profits over people. That’s the flipping problem.
I concur! I would like to relocate back to Oakland but the cost of living is too high.
Respect the history or reap the karma. Ask the homeowners who survived the Oakland hills fire about being humble. Karma ain’t prejudice.
It’s these [people] who are ruining Oakland. I have a small business in West Oakland in what was an under served community and now I’m being forced out since ANOTHER company from Francisco bought my multi purpose building for $2M. So my clients are in for a rude awakening that it is very likely that I’ll have to move my business
Your lease remains in effect after the sale, so you won’t have to move as a result of it.
Lease expired in May, month to month so it’s a nice neat unceremoniously dump us out deal. Thanks though
The business park in which I am located was bought by a gigantic multinational drug company and we will any day get a notification we have 6 months to leave before they bulldoze the place. It’s over 200 small businesses who have no place to go (there is zero vacancy over here). Your situation, while inconvenient, is routine. I wish I’d bought 10 years ago when I started out… but I didn’t, so now I have another headache to look forward to. This goes back to yet another reason I have no real empathy for my tenants as a landlord — I get a firsthand view of how real landlords run their businesses and empathy doesn’t spring to mind.
In what city is your business located?
You don’t have to move at all, this is the Bay Area. Signing a lease, even if it’s for a finite term, is an agreement to occupy your space indefinitely. Renting = Ownership. Patronage = Ownership. The people who “bought” your building don’t have any rights, only you and your clients have rights.
Way too much faux outrage on here for me to stomach. Hopefully, Socketsite will go back to only posting about San Francisco real estate. Obviously, Oakland is too PC for these discussions.
Honestly, this trendy bland architecture is so ugly. Why not hire an architect that isn’t burned out, so that they can actually enjoy the building they’re working on? Same goes for the interior designers. I mean, I know the latest corporate design practices will have tasteless people believing that they truly enjoy blankness and sharp edges, but jeeze. The design outright screams “soulless” and the practice of dropping (sorry, “copy/pasting”) this building off in this neighborhood in this Era of gentrification really quite disgusting. There’s literally nothing appealing about any of this, but the monied have historically lacked good taste.
“Because that’s where the money is…”
You do realize that the painted ladies, which an individual like yourself probably loves, are copies of one another.
Try driving around this neighborhood a little, and see how many Victorian copies there are. Those buildings were built for expedience, to house large numbers of people, in a style that was popular at the time.
Over the years, you have been told what a house is supposed to look like. It should have a pitched roof and gingerbread trim. If everyone thought like you everything would be a copy. Try thinking for yourself. It’s liberating.
I would like to rename the entire city of Oakland to Broakland for all of the East Coast transplants.
Another $1m-plus sale in WesOak (I’m coining that today – pronounced “Wezz Oke” – crossing fingers it catches on) – at 1226 12th Street. $1,105,000 to be precise. The redfin page amused me:
Redfin Estimate: $889,870
since last sold on 06/03/16: −$215,130
Well, maybe they can get a favorable property tax assessment . . .
The neighborhood these houses are in is called the LOWER BOTTOMS. NOBODY calls this area “WeOak, especially not long time residents.
The second townhome just went on the market listed for $849,000.
[Editor’s Note: The next West Oakland Home to Break the Million Dollar Mark?]
No oak tree in the courtyard or palm tree out front. Does that mean it goes for more… or less?
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